There are many different versions of socca, also known as farinata. Made with chickpea flour, it is a common dish in Italy as well as Nice, France. Chickpea flour is also common in India and used in many similar preparations, with different flavors and spices. We use a thick pourable batter here and bake it. It turns out more flatbread-like and has a wonderful savory flavor, serving as a foundation to pile almost anything on it, from your favorite spreads and dips, piling over a fresh salad or grilled veggies. It's great as a main, side dish or snack. Its versatility, deliciousness and ease are some of the many reasons we love socca!
The broccoli pesto is really more like a dip. This recipe makes quite a large batch, so feel free to cut it in half if you’d like. We like to make it all though and use it for dipping, sandwiches and salads for the week. Thin it out and turn it into a dressing even or just spread over socca like we do here!
1 cup chickpea flour ~ 115 g
1 cup water
3 tbsp olive oil divided
1 tsp kosher salt
Toasted pepita broccoli pesto
1 lb broccoli, including stems
¾ cup toasted pepitas
1 cup olive oil
1 cup basil
3 cloves garlic, smashed or roughly chopped
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp lemon juice
Put a 12 inch cast iron skillet into the oven and set it at 450 F.
Mix the batter by adding together chickpea flour, water, 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Whisk together and let sit for 15-30 minutes while the oven is preheating and to fully hydrate the batter. It should be thick, yet still pourable. If not pourable, add a little water at a time until it is!
Meanwhile, make broccoli pesto. Chop stems off broccoli and trim the bottoms off. Peel off the tough outer skin of the stems, you can use this by carefully running a knife down the outside, or use a vegetable peeler. Cube up and add to a food processor. Break broccoli florets into small pieces and add them to a food processor also. Pulse until broken up into very small pieces, almost rice like.
Add toasted pepitas, basil, garlic, salt and pepper and blitz until incorporated. Slowly add the olive oil and lemon juice until well combined, yet still chunky and thick. Adjust to your liking!
Once the oven is hot and your socca has rested, pull out the pan carefully and add about a tbsp of olive oil, enough to generously coat the bottom. Swirl it around to fully coat, then pour in the socca batter and quickly swirl around to reach the edges of the pan. It is okay if it doesn’t fully reach, just tilt the pan from side to side to do the best you can.
Put back in the oven and cook for 15 minutes. The edges should be nice and brown. Leave in for another 5 minutes if it needs to crisp up a bit more.
Let cool and top with broccoli pesto or whatever you’d like!